A month of fundraising has been planned during March to raise money for a new breast care unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.
The fundraising will be held in memory of an instrumental fundraiser and supporter – Lyn Cushing – who passed away in March 2020.
Lyn was integral in planning and fundraising efforts for the new unit after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.
She also helped re-launch Rhymney Valley Athletics Club (RVAC) and founded local choir The Melody Makers in 2007.
Friends and family now plan to bring these groups together to continue to fundraise in her memory.
A number of events for fundraisers to participate in will be held throughout March.
These include a Mother’s Day afternoon tea, a “10 miles in 10 days” walk, run or cycle in partnership with RVAC, a two-hour Zumbathon and a virtual weekend of music and dance with local acts, groups and artists.
Lyn, who moved to Caerphilly County Borough when she was in her 20s, had already raised more than £4,000 for Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr’s Breast Cancer Centre – and her daughter, Claire Seabourne, hopes that March’s fundraising efforts can increase that total to £10,000.
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer, Claire said the planned events bring together all the communities her mum cared about and contributed to:
“Mam always wanted to give back and make people happy, from setting up Melody Makers to allow all people to come and be part of something, to relaunching the athletics club and lobbying for the county to have an athletics track.
“She was the kind of person who tackled everything head on. Her cancer diagnosis was no different and she wanted to raise awareness for others who would go through the same as her.
“Having something local was imperative for her. When you have a dedicated centre on your doorstep, you’re close to home, the process is shorter and you don’t have to travel an hour to and from a hospital.
“She wanted something in this area for women from this area.”
Work on the new breast care unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr is due to begin in June. The unit will include treatment and consultation facilities, as well as counselling rooms, a prosthesis facility and a cafe.
All money raised by Friends of the ABUHB Breast Unit will be spent at the unit, with the aim of making it as friendly and welcoming an environment as possible.
Emma Wilkins, fundraising manager for breast services at ABUHB, said: “Despite the limitations of social distancing measures, Claire’s dedication to continuing her mother’s legacy is inspirational.
“As a small local NHS charity we are blown away by these efforts and peoples generosity. Lyn joined the Friends of the New Breast Care Unit voluntary group to fundraise to improve the patient experience in our new unit that is due to open in late 2022.
“Lyn’s drive and enthusiasm to help others facing a breast cancer diagnosis were truly moving while battling the disease herself.
“She was instrumental in the process of designing the new unit, making sure there are exits from the unit to allow people who have had a diagnosis to leave with dignity and not have to walk through the entire hospital.
“The current pandemic has had a devastating effect on our fundraising efforts with lots of planned events cancelled.
“This fundraiser has helped to lift the spirits of the voluntary group who have worked so hard to raise funds so far to benefit others.”
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